Internet users have become increasingly concerned about the safety of their personal information while surfing the world wide web. This is has forced website owners to take the necessary steps to make their interfaces more secure. One of the key steps taken by them is engaging SSL certificate providers to enable the HTTPS protocol on their websites. With search engine giant Google starting to consider the security feature as a ranking factor, many users feel that it will be beneficial to install one on their interfaces. There are questions in the minds of other people like bloggers about the utility of SSL certificates for their website’s SEO as they are not involved in the exchange of sensitive information that needs protection. We will take a close look at the issue by discussing it across three key factors.
1. Website Traffic
Website owners are concerned with increasing the the traffic to their interfaces. One of the benefits of HTTPS that are listed in various articles is improved traffic. Does it really happen? E-commerce websites and other similar interfaces which share and store sensitive user information such as credit card details will see a rise in traffic after the addition of the certificate. When doing monetary transactions people do not want to take the risk of sharing sensitive information on an insecure platform. They will prefer an HTTPS-enabled website over non-secure interfaces. On the other hand, websites that are not involved in accessing sensitive data are not going to see a drastic change in their rankings. A possible issue can be the displaying of warning message by Google that you are going to visit a non-secure website. This can cause the number of visitors to drop. Such users can make only those pages that are used for accessing user data like the subscription page, secure and avoid the problem.
2. SERP Rankings
As mentioned earlier, a few years back Google started to use the factor as a ranking signal. The reason behind this move was the increasing concerns of users about the safety of their personal data while visiting websites that appeared in its search results. The search engine giant also uses the factor as a tie-breaking device. When two websites in a search result are equal in all other aspects like speed, content quality etc., then the interface with the HTTPS protocol will be ranked ahead. Even then a minuscule number of websites have been secured. The majority of the entries on the first page of a Google search result, though are HTTPS-enabled websites. It is not only the SSL certificate which is influencing the position but numerous other factors apart from the industry to which the website belongs also play a deciding role. The decision to hire a reliable SSL certificate service provider, therefore, will depend on all these factors.
3. Conversion Rate
HTTPS encryption definitely impacts the conversion rate of a website. A user will perform the desired action which involves sharing some sort of personal information only if he/she feels completely sure about the dependability of the interface. A majority of visitors on an e-commerce portal will not make any purchases if they do not see the green padlock sign at the beginning of the URL. Even other interfaces that do not require monetary transactions but are accessing other types of personal data such as email IDs and phone numbers will see a drop in their conversion rate if their pages are not secure. The conversion rate of a secure interface will always be much better than a non-secure one. This is a big factor which will encourage users to introduce the security feature on their interfaces.
An SSL certificate is no longer a luxury but a necessity for website owners and they must install one on their interfaces to send out the right signals to search engines as well as visitors.
Maria Dicosta is a Web designer by profession and she works for a leading Web Development Company in Vancouver, Canada – FernWeb. She uses to write useful tutorials on Web design and socialize its different social media platforms.